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Stirling Convertor Control for a Concept Rover at NASA Glenn Research CenterThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for potential use as an electric power system for space science missions. This generator would make use of the free-piston Stirling cycle to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently used alternatives. NASA GRC initiated an experiment with an ASRG simulator to demonstrate the functionality of a Stirling convertor on a mobile application, such as a rover. The ASRG simulator made use of two Advanced Stirling Convertors to convert thermal energy from a heat source to electricity. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto a rover powered directly by the convertors. Support equipment to provide control was designed including a linear AC regulator controller, constant power controller, and Li-ion battery charger controller. The ASRG simulator is controlled by a linear AC regulator controller. The rover is powered by both a Stirling convertor and Li-ion batteries. A constant power controller enables the Stirling convertor to maintain a constant power output when additional power is supplied by the Li-ion batteries. A Li-ion battery charger controller limits the charging current and cut off current of the batteries. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these three controllers.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Blaze-Dugala, Gina M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2009
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 6th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC-2008)
Location: Cleveland, OH
Country: United States
Start Date: July 28, 2008
End Date: July 30, 2008
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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